Editorial: The Gun Problem



From schools to churches, this country has seen acts of gun violence in almost every setting.

April 20, 1999. July 20, 2012. December 14, 2012. June 12, 2016. February 14, 2018. April 15, 2021. May 9, 2021. All of these dates have one thing in common: gunmen strolling into a public space and loading bullets into the bodies of men, women, and children. Our country has an issue. While it is true that owning a gun falls under our second amendment right, the narrative that large assault rifles are used just as self-defense is the complete opposite of what has been going on for years in this country. There have been nearly 150 mass shootings this year alone, which is about one every day of the year. From 2019 to 2020, there was a massive increase in mass shootings, therefore an increase in Americans being stripped of their lives.

The second amendment gives Americans the right to own a gun, however there are many countries around the world that prove that its citizens don’t need guns in order to be protected. (Colin Lloyd)

Why was the second amendment brought into law? Back when the US became a fresh new country, many of the Founding Fathers found it unnecessary to maintain a standing army. Instead, they believed Americans should hold guns to defend themselves against any enemies. However, this stance was pushed to the side before the amendment was even ratified. In 1789, the United States established its standing army, making it not really necessary for the average citizen to face off against any enemy to the country. Many Americans also believed, and some still to this day, that guns are important in case an overthrow of a tyrannical government becomes necessary. Nevertheless, the US government has weapons that can do way more damage than an AR-15. 

There are two main reasons why our country is facing this atrocity and these reasons are untreated mental health issues and the extremely lax gun laws in states where there are the most problems. 

The state of Colorado has seen some of the worst throughout the country’s history of gun violence. Permits and purchase permits are not required for long guns (rifles), you do not need to register handguns or even long guns, and open carry is allowed for both of these gun types. The percentage of gun ownership in Colorado is around 45%. In Alaska, this percentage is up by about 20 points. According to gunstocarry.com on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the most friendly to guns), Alaska is at 5 stars. It is also the state with the most gun violence. In a video titled Derek Chauvin Trial, Adam Toledo, & Mass Shootings, Youtuber Jimmy Snow brings up the Omaha Mall shooting that took place on April 17. He explains that it was “…considered to be an isolated event and didn’t kill or injure enough people to be called a mass shooting,” however, back in 2007, in this very same location, 9 people died. This is including the shooter who committed suicide. 

Many shooters end their sprees by taking their own lives. Student Assistance Coordinator counselor Mr. Connor Wills explains untreated mental health issues are what cause many of these shooters to break from sanity and commit these acts of violence. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter from the Parkland shooting in 2018, has a huge history of mental health problems that were not treated. Mr. Wills believes adults should pay more attention to students with mental health problems so they don’t end up hurting themselves or others. 

Colorado is one of the most gun friendly states in America. Around 45% of Coloridians own a gun. (Kait Herzog)

Gun violence in the US is not new at all. Jimmy Snow exclaimed Americans have become desensitized to it, and Mr. Wills agrees, “When a lot of us hear that there has been another mass shooting, it just kind of feels like any other day.”

We cannot let this keep going on. We can no longer see men, women, and children die from the easily accessible firearms and feel like it’s just any other day.